POKHARA, Feb 18: As a joint venture of the National Sports Council (NSC) and Kaski District Badminton Association (KDBA), Pokhara stadium premises will have a well equipped badminton covered hall of international standard within two years.
The existing structure is old and disorganized and Pokhara city is also likely to host some games under the 13th South Asian Games (SAG) scheduled to be held in Nepal from March 9 to 18, 2019.
According to KDBA Secretary Durga Jojiju, the existing structure is old and in fragile condition and the planned SAG will also feature some events in Pokhara. Thus there is a need of new structure.
He further informed that the planned covered hall having four courts is expected to cost around Rs 35 million. “The craze of badminton is also soaring and it is essential to construct covered hall. As one of the major role of such structure is to contribute in players' production, we are hopeful that the new covered hall will play a key role in production of talented players,” Jojiju said adding that the covered hall could also be useful for upcoming SAG.
The existing covered hall of the stadium is more than three and a half decades old. The stadium constructed in 1981 is used for both training and competitions. “We have been allocated three ropanis of land. We are planning for construction of a well-equipped and disable-friendly structure having changing rooms, washroom facilities and office.
Each court will be of international standard measuring 20X44 feet and the covered hall will be ready by one and a half years, according to Jojiju. He further informed that KDBA will manage half of the budget and the NSC will allocate the remaining budget.
Meanwhile, NSC Member Secretary Keshab Kumar Bista laid the foundation stone of the covered hall. Speaking during the occasion, he said that badminton under SAG could be held in Pokhara and also stressed on the need of local support for infrastructure development. Pointing to the growing number of infrastructure in Pokhara, Bista said such structures were necessary to achieve Pokhara's dream of sports city.
Western Region Sports Development Committee (WRSDC) President Khagaraj Poudel said that such type of planning should not be only limited to laying the foundation stone. “There is rise in the craze of badminton in Pokhara and the WRSDC decided to allocate the land. As there are changes in the sports infrastructure and technology, everyone should support in construction of such infrastructure.
According to WRSDC President Poudel, the plan of the proposed covered hall meets all requirements set by local authorities. “We decided to allocate land for construction works because badminton has potential in the country,” said Poudel, adding that the WRSDC owes all 417 ropanis of land on the stadium premises. “So far, football, volleyball, lawn tennis, archery and badminton have only been allocated land despite demand from different sports associations. But badminton has been allocated land on the basis of importance and potential of the game.”
He further added that they do not need separate permission from municipality for construction work on the stadium premises. “As it is not a personal asset, there is no need of permission from Pokhara Sub Metropolitan City for construction work. However, the government standards must be met.”